the athlete in me | Virginia Photographer

Just so you know - I have never been an athlete.

My mom made my siblings and I swim on the swim team every summer as we were growing up. It was her way of keeping us from laying around the house all summer - what with the 7:30am practices every weekday. At the time, I wasn't too keen on waking up early and jumping into a freezing pool first thing in the morning. But I have to say that now I am extremely grateful for those years of swim team. For one thing, weekly swim meets and daily trips to McDonald's after practice (totally cancelling out all the practicing each day) made for some of my absolute best childhood memories. Second, do you all know how amazing muscle memory is?!  After graduating high school in 2001, I didn't get back in the pool until 2006. I was in college (after taking a few semesters off to work) and they were starting a club swim team. I thought it would be fun to give it a try and a good way to get back in shape. At the first practice, I was able to hop in and swim the entire practice with ease. After 5 years of hardly even being in a pool! Talk about encouraging!

However... swimming is just about the only sport I enjoy. Probably because it is such an individual sport - not requiring much hand/eye coordination or other people relying on me to be that good. (Okay, sort of.) That, and I love the water. Other than swimming, though, I've never been much of an athlete. But, somehow, two years ago I decided that I wanted to train for a triathlon. I knew going in that the toughest part would be the measly 5k run at the end... so I tried to spend most of my training time focused on the running.

Well, guys. I hate running. And hate is a strong word.

After training for and completing the triathlon (2 weeks before my wedding - I do not recommend that to anyone!), I decided two things. 1. If I could train for and finish a triathlon,  I could do anything I set my mind to. And 2. That I would never, ever participate in any racing event that included only running. Because the running part was. not. fun.

'Cause, remember? I hate running. There's nothin' fun about it.

So fast forward a few years... I have hardly worked out since that triathlon. Friends and family have asked me to train for other races, and for various reasons all of the plans have fallen through. Well... my sister asked me about a week ago if I would be interested in training for the VA Beach Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon coming up in September. I quickly responded "nope."

And then about 20 mins later one of my dear friends sent me a text message. It said "Just finished a run! Hopefully I can keep this up!"

Don't ask me why or what I was thinking. But I responded "want to train with me for a 1/2 marathon in September?"

And she said yes.

What in the WORLD was I thinking?! I have no idea. But... I'm in now. And I have 13 weeks to train.

So, there you have it. I will be at the 2010 VA Beach Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon with a million other people attempting to cross the finish line in a timely manner. With my sister, her husband, and my dear friend Carrie. And hopefully (!!!) Carrie and I will have our husbands with us, too! (Cheering us on, not running.) If you are going to be there, too, let me know! I'd love to see you!

Ahhhh.... here we go!

Liz Cook

Liz Cook is a wedding, birth, and motherhood photographer based in Central Virginia. Her intuition and creative perspective allow her to connect both professionally and personally with her subjects, and thus, her portfolio is saturated with authentic emotion. Whether she's sharing her story with fellow entrepreneurs or enjoying quality time with her husband and two daughters, Liz is both present and passionate about capturing and celebrating life. Her work has been featured by O "Oprah" Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Glitter Guide, Essence Magazine, domino, Rue Magazine, among others.